Tech Up! Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES Review

By Shane Jury 01.10.2017 6

Tech Up! Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES Review on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion
After the breakout success that was the Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly abbreviated to NES for easier reference, The House That Mario Built would strike gold once again in the early '90s with a 16-bit successor. The Super Nintendo launched worldwide between 1990 and 1992, and despite fierce competition from Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis would go on to dominate that generation of consoles with breakout hits like the visually spectacular Donkey Kong Country, the 3D boon that was Star Fox/Starwing, and the absolute classics of Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past, to name but a few.

To celebrate its oldest console's legacy last year, Nintendo released the Nintendo Classic Mini: NES, a pint-sized version of the original hardware with 30 games built into it, which wouldn't even stay on the shelves long enough to fly off it. Repeating the idea this year is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System version, coming this time with 20 highly-acclaimed games and one major exclusive surprise. Is this in-demand toy worthy of its initial high-selling status?

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Coming in authentic, yet considerably smaller branded packaging, the Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES is rather unassuming when taken out of the box for the first time. Miniature and very lightweight - almost to the point of wondering if there's anything in the unit at all - it retains all the key design elements of the original: the sliding power function, reset button, eject trigger that has no purpose or forced reaction on this rendition, are all present in one form or another. Even the front two controller ports have retained their original distinctive shape, although this is now a flap concealing the actual inputs for the included pads.

Yes, you read that right: pads as in two, as Nintendo has this time included a duo of Super NES controllers with each Mini unit, each one being incredibly authentic to the real deal in size and feel, but each having somewhat of a more slippery matte grip. This could easily be due to being fresh out of the box, though. Getting two straight away is a big plus as not only were separate NES controllers as difficult to find as the unit itself, but the SNES version has all the key hardware it needs right out of the box for all of its included games. Cord length of the controllers has been improved this time around, although admittedly not nearly enough for anyone rocking a big entertainment setup, and the only way back to the main menu after launching the game still being the reset button on the hardware is an irritation - authentic but annoying. The classic L + R +ABXY reset method does actually work on all the games now instead of a select number, but this only resets the current title instead of reaching the main menu.

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Coming with the unit is the standard instruction booklet, although it's unlikely to ever be needed due to a very simple setup process, and an HDMI lead and micro-USB to USB cable. On the one hand, it is annoying that Nintendo has yet again avoided packaging any sort of plug with this, yet the flip side of that thought is that the included cable not only allows for USB port powering, which has become increasingly common, but also for computer connections, which opens the way to other, potentially non-ethical means of games and emulation possibilities, a huge selling point for many. Admittedly, a separate USB plug attachment would have made everyone happy in this instance, which would have been nice to see included with the package.

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Contents and housing aside, what will garner the highest interest in the Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES is the thing that matters the most: the games! Accessed from a nifty sliding menu upon switching the unit on, the line-up is as follows:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star (actually a collection of games in one)
  • Kirby's Dream Course
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls n' Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-out!!
  • Yoshi's Island
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
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    These games, all fully featured and emulated beautifully, are the cream of the crop for the Super Nintendo library, and barring a few notable exceptions like Chrono Trigger are an ideal representation of the machine's legacy. Two of them in particular have never been officially emulated before due to their use of the SuperFX chip in their original forms - being Star Fox and Yoshi's Island. These titles for their retro value are debatably worth the price of admission alone, but Nintendo has also included another Super FX game, one that has never officially been released anywhere in the world before. Star Fox 2, which was cancelled upon completion reportedly to allow Lylat Wars/Star Fox 64 and the Nintendo 64 breathing room, is built into each SNES system in all its completed glory. Adding this title has given the Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES an even bigger boost in value proposition for collectors and enthusiasts, let alone regular fans.

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    Returning display options include a CRT filter to emulate older TV pictures, a 4:3 standard output, and a Pixel Perfect mode that shows the game as the makers intended. Also included are up to four save states for each game; regardless of the title, a quick press of the reset button back to the main menu allows for a save up to that point. New to the SNES is the rewind feature, whereby after setting a save state, a player can choose to rewind up to the last few minutes of that play and redo their actions. This, besides being a neat feature to see in action, can help greatly with some of the more trial and error games on the list, like Super Punch Out!! and Street Fighter II Turbo.

    Although slightly more expensive than its predecessor and bringing forward a couple of the same issues only lessened to a degree, the additions and arguably higher quality games line-up of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System make it a highly viable and worthy purchase for not only Nintendo fans, but gaming enthusiasts on the whole.

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    Rated 9 out of 10

    Exceptional - Gold Award

    Rated 9 out of 10
    Improving on last year's Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System by a considerable amount, the Super Nintendo Entertainment version brings one of the greatest gaming libraries of all time, together with excellent emulation and display features, all housed in an authentic console shell. The issues over plug attachments, the reset function, and cable length are once again present, although lesser for the latter, but these are the only few blemishes on what is overall a brilliant celebration of one of the greatest games consoles of all time.

    Don't forget to check Cubed3's official Facebook Page for more shots of the system!

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    Hey Shane - what are your favourite games on it so far?

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

    Thoroughly enjoying mine, the USB plug situation doesn't bother me because I can plug it straight into the USBport in my TV, it means less cables dangling around everywhere.

    The reset button is annoying but you could play with one of the Wii Classic controllers and use the home button on there instead. 

    The cable length also annoying out of the box but EBgames in Australia was selling extension cables for $8AU which is like 5quid. Not too bad to be honest. 

    I've not really had the time to start some of the longer games yet but I've spent quite a bit of time on Starfox, Yoshi's Island and Mario Kart already and it's great to revisit them. I reckon that if you have no nostalgia for Starfox then you'd probably not like it as its aged pretty badly. Funnily enough Starwing was one of the first games I played. I knew about Starwing long before I knew about Zelda, DK or Metroid.


    Yeah, I've got a really big computer monitor, so I've got the SNES hooked up to that, meaning the cables are actually a bit too long on my desk, so I've tied things up. Quick flick of a switch, press of a button and my PC stuff disappears in favour of the SNES goodness on my monitor. Lovely!

    Starwing, I'm still enjoying, but I really don't like Star Fox 2. Not one bit. Al's going to do a review, and I have an inkling it's not going to be a biased/glowing as some other websites that are gushing over it.

    I heard people are currently working on how to unlock the SNES, just as they did with the NES...

    Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

    UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

    I've seen very mediocre reviews of Starfox2, I guess it's harsh to review the game in 2017. If this game been released pre-N64 then it would have been a gem of its time, absolutely no doubt about it. The RTS and technical feats alone would have been enough. Although with that said the Saturn was out and there were better looking 3D games on that at the time. 

    With all of that said I am glad it got cancelled to make way for Lylatwars because that is quite literally one of my favourite games of all time (althought the 3DS version is now the best way to play it).

    I am glad that I have a spare SNES mini (now that my friend dropped out from buying it). I was too scared to hack my NES classic just in case it might brick it, but now with the SNES I might not be so scared. I'd love to play games like Street Racer, Aladdin, Pilotwings and others on there.

    My SNES Classic just arrived last night.
    Getting a hold of one was a hassle and a half (somehow lucked into a thinkgeek order at 3:00 am).

    I'm pretty impressed with it.

    Anyone unaware, SNES Mini is now easily hackable.

    Got most of the ones I want on there now, and just messing with some others to decide if I want to keep them on or not. The important ones like DKC 2+3, Chrono Trigger, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Tetris Attack, and Mario All-Stars are all on Smilie

    Shortcut for the home menu is a godsend too. That's an easy solution that Nintendo should have used if they were so adamant about not adding another button to the pad. Regardless, the machine is now near-perfect, aside from a few games not quite working properly or at all on it. Most of the main ones people will want are all good tho.

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